The United Nations is one of those topics that causes one of three reactions: (1) strident defense from the Left, (2) snarling disdain from the Right, …and (3) bored, yawning shrugs, which come from pretty much everyone else.
I understand the reason for all three, of course. The Right sees the U.N. as thieves and backers of every tin-pot dictator in the world, and I happen to agree. The Left adores the U.N., since its primary aim appears to be stealing from those mean old Western nations, (whom they resent) and giving to the poor, third-world dictatorships, socialist regimes and tyrants (whom they love). And everyone else sees it as some ethereal-yet-benign body, which doesn’t have anything to do with their daily lives.
If the U.N. gets their way, that last description will change, and in a hurry.
The United Nations is considering a new Internet tax targeting the largest Web content providers, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix, that could cripple their ability to reach users in developing nations.
The European proposal, offered for debate at a December meeting of a U.N. agency called the International Telecommunication Union, would amend an existing telecommunications treaty by imposing heavy costs on popular Web sites and their network providers for the privilege of serving non-U.S. users, according to newly leaked documents.
The article goes on to explain the costs associated with this and how it could cripple the internet forever. But this time there is a more insidious goal than simply money.
It’s easy to understand why countries like Russia, China and Iran would want to rewire the Internet, cutting off access to their citizens and undermining the idea of a World Wide Web. What’s more surprising is that U.S. diplomats are letting authoritarian regimes hijack an obscure U.N. agency to undermine how the Internet works, including for Americans.
The U.N. process is mind-numbing, but as Vincent Cerf, one of the founders of the Web, recently told Congress, this U.N. involvement means “the open Internet has never been at a higher risk than it is now.”
The broadest proposal in the draft materials is an initiative by China to give countries authority over “the information and communication infrastructure within their state” and require that online companies “operating in their territory” use the Internet “in a rational way”—in short, to legitimize full government control. The Internet Society, which represents the engineers around the world who keep the Internet functioning, says this proposal “would require member states to take on a very active and inappropriate role in patrolling” the Internet.
This is indefensible, but par for the course with this bunch. I could list other such U.N. meddling for days without once repeating myself:
…and the list goes on, and on, and on.
Boy-oh-boy, do I miss John Bolton.
The fact that the United States of America is the largest financial supporter of the U.N. since that organization’s founding in 1945 (providing roughly a quarter of their annual budget) gives us the right to question this international assemblage of thugs, which consistently manages to undermine freedom at every turn. We need to get a handle on what is being misspent by them, how, and why…and then stand up for freedom as we used to do….or we must seriously consider getting out altogether.
Because if we don’t choose one of those options, and quickly, we will be funding our own demise.